Science 9 – As an introduction to Bunsen burners and matter/physical changes, the students altered the stress/strain of paperclips with a bunsen burner.
I personally find this activity quite confusing. The basic idea is that a paperclip will break after being bent after X number of twists. Another paperclip is heated and air cooled and the experiment is repeated. Finally another paperclip is heated and cooled in a beaker of water. The results go all over the place. All we can conclude is that heating a paperclip makes it last longer before breaking. Untreated paperclips seem to break after 6 bends. Heated and water cooled paper clips can last over 40 bends. Sometimes the water cooling makes the last longer, sometimes it makes no difference. The heating is difficult to control and the cooling happens very cooling no matter what method (air or water) is used. I wrap up the experiment by talking about grain size and how it affects physical properties, which is glossy over a lot but is all that is needed at this point.